Baton Rouge speaks out before election
By Cody HoldenPosted Oct 31, 2012
With elections right around the corner, candidates for East Baton Rouge mayor-president and City Council have been making their voices heard. However, voters got a chance to join the conversation at a forum this past Monday, October 30.
The forum was hosted by local coalition Together Baton Rouge, and it featured 30 of the 32 candidates for council and mayoral positions. The meeting allowed voters to become involved in the political discussion by choosing the talking points for the candidates. Further limiting the oratory presence of the candidates, the forum had a one-minute time restriction for each of the responses. Attendees honed in on issues like infrastructure, crime, and the recent relaxation of alcohol sales on Sundays, stressing the need for cooperation across the board from winners this November.
Backed by 40 institutions from across the city, Together Baton Rouge made political hopefuls pledge to work together with the coalition to meet the demands of residents. Members of the coalition include city churches, the Louisiana AARP, Southern University’s School of Architecture and Center for Social Research, and the Mid-City Community Fellowship, among others.
The groups hope that this new dialogue will show the concern that citizens have for issues they feel have been overlooked. The existence of “food deserts,” or areas of the city without an adequate supply of fresh produce, was a particular focus. Earlier this year, Together Baton Rouge teamed up with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to distribute more than 15,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Scotlandville area.